We are deeply saddened by the events in Charlotte over the last twenty-four hours. The death of Keith Lamont Scott ignited protests that have injured and endangered both civilians and law enforcement. For months we have been watching tragedies like this unfold in cities across the country. Last night, heartbreak returned to Charlotte. This is our city. This is personal.
In a press conference today, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney explained that detectives are still uncovering details. We need to let them do their job without speculation or interference. The mayor, city officials, police, community leaders, and our faith partners are working together. We are committed to holding each other accountable and working towards justice.
We extend our condolences to the Scott family. We hear the cries of sadness, pain, anger and frustration from Charlotte’s African American community, by those who call the Village at College Downs home, and people of color in our own congregation.
Racial tensions have increasingly become a part of our national dialogue. We may feel helpless to make an impact or shift the paradigm. But Judaism teaches that we must pursue peace and take action to break down the barriers that prevent us from seeing the Godliness and humanity in each other.
At our Shabbat Services this Friday night, we will offer our prayers for peace, justice, and healing in our city. Please know that Temple clergy and staff are available, as always, to offer a listening ear and caring support. In the meantime, we pray:
May a canopy of peace transform our fears into hope and dedication to making this world a safe place for all its citizens and all who serve and protect us. O God, we pray that our homes and our community be a sukkat shalom, spreading peace far and wide, now and forever.
Rabbi Asher Knight, Rabbi Dusty Klass, Cantor Andrew Bernard, Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas